[ Technical Textiles - Lenzing presents botanic shoe concept with Tencel fibre at Techtextil 2015.]
Lenzing, a leading manufacturer of man-made cellulosic fibres, has presented a new concept using Tencel, the Lyocell fibre, as component parts for shoes.
“It all started with shoe laces,” said Marina Crnoja-Cosic, Lenzing Segment Manager of Technical Textiles. “Now the goal is to launch a shoe on the market in which all of the component parts are made with Tencel.”
As a result of Lenzing’s initiative and strong interest on behalf of manufacturers, more and more shoe components were developed, many of which are already in use in commercial products. Available as a fibre or in powder form, Tencel can be used in inner and outer shoes, as an outer fabric, and in shoe laces and sewing thread.
Co-operation with shoe industry
Reputable brand manufacturers are interested in shoes made with and of Tencel and are already testing prototypes, the manufacturer reports. Austrian company, Legero, is searching for new possibilities in the field of sustainability and is at the point of commercializing a new shoe concept called VIOS.
In this shoe, Tencel shoe laces are used for sustainability, and work is already underway to further extend Tencel to additional components. “For us a partnership with Lenzing AG is a logical step on the way towards ecological responsibility since, due to our joint passion for sustainability, we are able to produce things which did not appear possible at first glance,” commented Stefanie Stolitzka, Sustainable Development Manager at Legero.
The test and research institute Pirmasens played an important role in the development of shoes with Tencel as did the International Shoe Competence Center of Pirmasens in Germany. All of the prototypes were made at Pirmasens.
Technical fibre for wide-ranging applications
In 2013 Lenzing started to intensify its activities with regard to technical textiles. The goal was to determine how far the Tencel fibre could be used in different technical applications due to its unique property profile.
Since then, Techtextil products, in which Tencel plays an important role, have been presented. Properties, such as the best moisture management, the natural starting material of wood, and the technical benefits, such as its very high tenacity profile including temperature resistance, inspire many manufacturers to experiment with the Tencel fibre.
“We have successfully used the Tencel fibre in functional clothing, technical knitwear and in various cords and ropes for the agricultural industry. In many technical textile applications, the search is on for eco-friendly materials. Tencel is a natural fibre which is sustainable and strong in agricultural applications and yet still biodegradable with an enormous tenacity profile. In this application, Tencel is competing with steel ropes,” said Crnoja-Cosic.